For the second consecutive year, four teams of Cal Poly students took first-, second- and third-place awards and an honorable mention in the 2017 Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) Ameristar Student Packaging Competition.
Interdisciplinary teams combined industrial technology and packaging students with art and design students to create packaging solutions for a variety of consumer needs. Each team developed a physical prototype of their product complete with branded graphics.
Industry experts judged entries on environmental impact, marketing, product protection and economics. Award-winning teams will be honored at the PackExpo industry conference in November. Top entries will also represent the United States in a global design competition, the WorldStar Student Awards, hosted by the World Packaging Organisation.
Organizers called these honorees “tomorrow’s packaging leaders.”
Cal Poly’s first-place award was given to “Tea Stems,” a convenient alternative to tea bags. The tea stem is a cylindrical wooden dowel attached to a polymer mesh material filled with tea leaves functioning as a tea bag and stirring stick. The stems are packaged within a die-cut paperboard folding carton that “blooms” when the box is opened. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brendan Smyth (San Jose, Calif.), Simeon Comanescu (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Ryan Marrs (San Luis Obispo, Calif.), and art and design students Alexandra Rosado (San Francisco, Calif.) and Lucia Astiazaran (Valencia, Calif.).
Second place went to SticKit, a two-in-one packaging system that dispenses insulin syringes and safely houses used syringes. A pull tab on the bottom of the secondary container dispenses a boxed syringe while a flap on the top of the container can be opened and locked for safe syringe disposal. A durable plastic divider separates the compartments, moving down with gravity as syringes are dispensed. The entry was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Paul Woodman (Atascadero, Calif.) and Michael Lowe (Pleasanton, Calif.), graphic communications student Dana Shell (San Ramon, Calif.), and art and design students Gina Agapito (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Ashley Vong (San Jose, Calif.).
Vera Cruz Surf Wax earned the third-place award. The packaging integrates a wax comb, a protective shell to minimize sun exposure of the wax and a discrete compartment to store the user’s car keys. The design is made of injection-molded compostable PaperFoam. Its unique triangular shape offers an ergonomic grip. The dispensing mechanism was inspired by chap stick packaging, which can contain and reshape a melted product. The package was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Brooke Billmeyer (Solana Beach, Calif.), Grant Badstubner (Danville, Calif.), and Sai Domanico (Hillsborough, Calif) with art and design students Daniel Blenkinship (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) and Zach Baker (Rocklin, Calif.).
La Habra Avocado oil earned an honorable mention. The oil is housed in a recyclable plastic pouch encased by two paper pulp shells molded in the shape of an avocado. A pour spout with a drip return prevents the oil from spilling on the package. The product was designed by industrial technology and packaging students Katie Exum (Torrance, Calif.), Michael Moorehead (Walnut Creek, Calif.) and Patrick McCaffrey (Irvine, Calif.), and art and design students Jessica Ferguson (San Jose, Calif.) and Deric Shindledecker (Temecula, Calif.).
The student projects were developed in Professor Javier de la Fuente’s IT 435: Packaging Development class and Professor Mary LaPorte’s ART 437: Graphic Design III class. De la Fuente and LaPorte served as student advisors.
For more information about this year’s teams, visit IoPP’s website at https://www.iopp.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=4335.